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Posted February 26th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.126
US$/GBP – 1.529
CHF/GBP – 1.648
CAN$/GBP – 1.619
AUS$/GBP – 1.717

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Sterling had a poor day yesterday on weak data and growing concerns that the Bank of England could expand Quantitative Easing further. In addition, poor US unemployment data caused investors to move to the safe haven dollar on risk aversion. The pound dropped to a 9 month low against the US dollar and a 6 week low against the euro. Weaker than expected data showed a 5.8% drop in business investment in the 4th Quarter and added to the negative sentiment created this week by key members of the Bank of England who alluded to pumping more money into the economy. This dented hopes of an upgrade to the UK’s updated 4th Quarter GDP figures which are released this morning. There has been talk of an upgrade from 0.1% to 0.2% growth, however following yesterday’s poor data there is as much of a possibility that this figure will show that the economy shrank. There is growing concern that the UK’s recovery is faltering. A survey of house prices this morning showed that prices dropped by 1% from last month. This week has seen concerns grow over the state of the UK’s recovery and sterling has dropped considerably. There is a high risk of volatility today which could see the price of sterling move either way. Get in touch now to avoid losing out.

In the Euro zone, German unemployment data came in better than expected and the Euro zone business confidence reading increased to the highest level since October 2008. However, with concerns still growing over Greece, the data had little effect. The main market mover was US unemployment data which came in a lot worse than expected and caused the euro to drop against the US dollar as investors traded on risk aversion. European inflation data is released today, which is expected to show that prices in the region rose by 1% in the year to January. This is good for the region, but investors seem to agree that there is little chance of a rise in interest rates for some time. With a lot of data out today the euro could go either way. Call in now to ensure you buy at the right time.

In the USA, the number of new claims for unemployment insurance rose by 30,000 more than expected sparking concerns over global recovery. This caused the US dollar to strengthen further against sterling. With recent data also disappointing, investors are concerned that the recovery is very fragile. US 4th Quarter GDP figures are expected to be revised down slightly to 5.5%. Many are expecting growth to slow in the US in the first 3 months of 2010. Get in touch now to avoid sterling dropping further against the US dollar.

Call 0808 163 0102 or +44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UKor fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

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Posted February 25th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.134
US$/GBP – 1.528
CHF/GBP – 1.659
CAN$/GBP – 1.614
AUS$/GBP – 1.721

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Sterling fell against euro yesterday as Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Adam Posen left the door open for further injections of emergency funding into the UK economy – despite putting the Quantitative Easing programme on hold last month. Echoing Mervyn King’s comments on Tuesday, Posen did very little to aid sterling which has fallen recently after poor unemployment data and disappointing retail sales. The UK is keeping emergency funding available if needed, whilst other countries look to pull back from loose monetary policy. This is helping to keep sterling under pressure and means the outlook for the pound still remains poor. Today, Mervyn King speaks again and we have CBI realised sales (a key indicator of consumer spending) and business investment data – both of which are forecast to improve marginally. However, as we have seen so far this month, UK data can easily come in much worse than expected – get in touch now to avoid catching another downward movement and losing out.

In the Euro zone, German consumer confidence came in slightly better than expected and the final fourth quarter GDP stayed at 0.0%. Industrial orders beat expectations of -1.1% and came in at 0.8% which helped to push euro higher against sterling. The Greek debt crisis was out of the spotlight yesterday, but it is clearly still an issue that could cause volatility at any point. With a wide range of data out later today including European consumer confidence and money supply data there is scope for a lot of movement as we head into the weekend. Call in today to avoid missing out.

In the USA, the US dollar weakened by around 0.1% against sterling yesterday. The US dollar dropped following Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments to US Congress that US interest rates were likely to remain low for “an extended period” as a weak jobs market and poor inflation data meant that monetary policy would have to remain loose to help stimulate the economy. Bernanke continues testifying to Congress tomorrow and there is also US unemployment data and durable goods orders data released – both of which could have a large impact on the exchange rate. We are still looking at the worst time for 9 months to buy US dollars. Get in touch today to avoid losing out further.

Call 0808 163 0102 or +44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UKor fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted February 24th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.139
US$/GBP – 1.544
CHF/GBP – 1.668
CAN$/GBP – 1.630
AUS$/GBP – 1.737

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Sterling experienced a rollercoaster ride yesterday, as it moved sharply down and then recovered ground later in the day against the euro and US dollar. The initial drop yesterday morning was as a result of the negative comments from the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England who were taking questions from parliament’s Treasury Committee. Mervyn King said that “It may be necessary to expand Quantitative Easing. Despite the depreciation of sterling we haven’t seen much evidence of a pickup in net trade which is an important part of our rebalancing”. This caused sterling to fall, and this was further compounded when data showed 10,000 fewer mortgage approvals than were initially expected. This downward movement was reversed against the euro as German and Belgian business confidence came in worse than expected and in addition, French consumer spending disappointed.

Out today in the UK we have very little data, but yesterday’s volatility demonstrates why it is so important to speak to a currency specialist sooner rather than later to help pre-empt and avoid large losses on your currency transfers.

As mentioned, the euro suffered after business confidence data came in worse than expected. The concern is that there has been very little growth in the Euro zone and very little to suggest any positive movement in the next few months. Markets were also digesting an article by George Soros in the Financial Times in which the notorious currency trader severely criticised the euro over the fact that the currency lacks a centralised treasury which can help stimulate the currency in the current downturn. Even if Greece is bailed out, Italy, Ireland and Portugal are in a similar state and the centralised monetary policy and de-centralised fiscal policy is leaving these economies with no ability to effectively manage their economies. First thing we have German consumer confidence and also the final GDP figures for the country. If these come in worse than expected we are likely to see some volatility. Get in touch to maximise your chances of getting in at the best price.

In the USA, following worse than expected consumer confidence data, which was down over concerns in the jobs market, the US dollar strengthened against the euro and sterling as investors moved into safer assets. In addition, there has been talk that some of the recent US dollar strength has come from the unwinding of carry-trades (when investors who have borrowed US dollars at low rates to invest internationally have to buy back US dollars to pay off the loans) which boosts US dollar strength as demand rises. Today, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks which is likely to be market moving.

Call in now to avoid missing out. Remember to minimise the chance of losing money due to adverse movements in the markets by speaking to a currency specialist as early as possible. Call 0207 898 0541.

Posted February 23rd, 2010 by Charles Purdy

EURO/GBP – 1.131
US$/GBP – 1.544
CHF/GBP – 1.659
CAN$/GBP – 1.607
AUS$/GBP – 1.707

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Sterling remained close to a 9 month low against the US dollar and improved slightly against the euro yesterday as concerns mounted over the level of UK debt and the weak economy. With little fundamental data out, markets traded on news released over the weekend that showed no party currently had a majority leading into the next election. A hung parliament is an issue for currency markets, as the government would not have the requisite majority to push through the tough legislation needed to bring the UK clear of record levels of debt. With the UK’s public finances firmly in the spotlight following Friday’s announcement of a £4.3bn hole in the public purse for January, rumours of a hung parliament are likely to keep sterling in check until a clear winner is announced. One positive is that the UK’s dismal 4th Quarter GDP growth figure of 0.1% is expected to be revised upwards to 0.2%. However, with renewed concerns mounting over the state of the UK, unless the figure wildly outperforms expectations this is unlikely to cause sterling to move. Today we have the Monetary Policy Committee testifying to the Treasury Select Committee over the recent Inflation Report. This could be interesting, as the economic forecasts coming out of the bank seem to vary each month and there could be some sterling movement if the MPC members get a ‘grilling’. In addition, mortgage approval data is released which is expected to show a marginal decline.

Call in now, as there is a significant risk that sterling will continue to decline against both US dollar and the euro as a debt crisis mounts in the UK.

In the Euro zone, more and more traders are taking bets against the single currency as the prospect of severe fiscal tightening in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland is expected to stifle the economic recovery in those countries. Against the US dollar, the European Central Bank is unlikely to look to raise interest rates for some time – this contrasts with the Fed who are likely to move to raise interest rates much sooner. This suggests the euro is likely to suffer against the US dollar. With limited data out today to drive the markets, trading yet again rests around sentiment over Greece and questions surrounding the ability of a centralised monetary policy to efficiently manage a 16 country currency. French inflation and consumer spending is released alongside Germany’s business confidence for January. Call in now as there is scope for significant movement.

In the US, a lack of data meant trading was fairly flat aside from marginal strengthening of the US dollar against the euro and sterling on concerns over debt levels in the UK and also the Greek situation. Today, we have consumer confidence data which is expected to be around the same level as last month. In addition, a member of the Fed’s monetary policy board is due to speak. Any comments that particularly point towards increased rates will see US dollar strength. However, the big event is tomorrow, when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies to the House Financial Services Committee – as head of the Fed, his rhetoric holds clues as to the future direction of monetary policy and most importantly timings of upcoming rate rises. However, despite Friday’s shock rise in the discount rate, Bernanke was keen to downplay sooner than expected interest rate rises. Regardless, there is a lot of potential for movement so get in touch now to avoid losing out.

Call 0808 163 0102 or +44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UKor fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted February 22nd, 2010 by Charles Purdy

EURO/GBP – 1.137
US$/GBP – 1.546
CHF/GBP – 1.665
CAN$/GBP – 1.607
AUS$/GBP – 1.721

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

A series of weak UK data last week saw sterling fall to a 10 month low against the US dollar. Worse than expected unemployment data and the shock announcement of the first Public Sector deficit since 1993 saw the pound fall below the $1.55/ £1 level. With concerns over the UK’s public finances growing and a lack of fundamental data out at the start of this week, sterling is likely to trade on risk sentiment. The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee members testify on the first quarter inflation report which could see some movement and in addition the second estimate of fourth quarter GDP for the UK is released on Friday. When this was released last time, the figures came in a lot worse than expected. There is a possibility that the figures will be amended to show an improved performance for the UK economy, however with a renewed negative outlook for the UK, this is unlikely to push sterling too much to the upside.

Get in touch today to discuss your currency requirements and avoid sterling’s poor performance affecting your currency purchase.

In the Euro zone, last week saw German reaction to the debt crisis in Greece with many key officials point blank refusing to help Greece with German funding. Angela Merkel accused Greece of releasing deliberately misleading figures for years. There is little data out this week, so the euro is likely to follow risk sentiment trends as news develops on Greece and a likely bailout. Whilst the euro is remaining in a range against sterling, it is worthwhile getting in touch now to ensure you purchase at the right time.

The USA surprised the markets last week by unexpectedly raising the ‘discount rate’ for the first time since 2006. Ben Bernanke was keen to impress that this was not a shift in policy towards an earlier than expected headline interest rate rise. The Fed Chairman speaks on Thursday and this is likely to elicit the most market reaction from an otherwise bare week on the economic calendar. With a lack of data being released, get in touch now to make sure you do not lose out from volatile movements due to risk sentiment.

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted February 22nd, 2010 by Charles Purdy

EURO/GBP – 1.137
US$/GBP – 1.546
CHF/GBP – 1.665
CAN$/GBP – 1.607
AUS$/GBP – 1.721

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0845 638 0571 or (+44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencybusiness.com/quote1.htm

A series of weak UK data last week saw sterling fall to a 10 month low against the US dollar. Worse than expected unemployment data and the shock announcement of the first Public Sector deficit since 1993 saw the pound fall below the $1.55/ £1 level. With concerns over the UK’s public finances growing and a lack of fundamental data out at the start of this week, sterling is likely to trade on risk sentiment. The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee members testify on the first quarter inflation report which could see some movement and in addition the second estimate of fourth quarter GDP for the UK is released on Friday. When this was released last time, the figures came in a lot worse than expected. There is a possibility that the figures will be amended to show an improved performance for the UK economy, however with a renewed negative outlook for the UK, this is unlikely to push sterling too much to the upside. Get in touch today to discuss your currency requirements and avoid sterling’s poor performance affecting your currency purchase.

In the Euro zone, last week saw German reaction to the debt crisis in Greece with many key officials point blank refusing to help Greece with German funding. Angela Merkel accused Greece of releasing deliberately misleading figures for years. There is little data out this week, so the euro is likely to follow risk sentiment trends as news develops on Greece and a likely bailout. Whilst the euro is remaining in a range against sterling, it is worthwhile getting in touch now to ensure you purchase at the right time.

The USA surprised the markets last week by unexpectedly raising the ‘discount rate’ for the first time since 2006. Ben Bernanke was keen to impress that this was not a shift in policy towards an earlier than expected headline interest rate rise. The Fed Chairman speaks on Thursday and this is likely to elicit the most market reaction from an otherwise bare week on the economic calendar. With a lack of data being released, get in touch now to make sure you do not lose out from volatile movements due to risk sentiment.

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0845 638 0571 or (+44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencybusiness.com/quote1.htm

Posted February 19th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.140
US$/GBP – 1.540
CHF/GBP – 1.672
CAN$/GBP – 1.616
AUS$/GBP – 1.726

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Sterling suffered yesterday after the UK’s public finances showed a shortfall in the month of January for the first time since 1993. The pound fell to $1.5554/ £1 – barely avoiding the $1.5533/ £1 nine month low that was hit earlier in the month. However, overnight the Federal Reserve raised the ‘discount interest rate’ – the rate at which banks borrow from the central bank in a clear statement of intent to raise headline rates. This has seen us hit $1.5383/ £1 already this morning. January is traditionally a month when tax receipts far outweigh the money spent by the Government and this month saw the first time in 17 years that the Government spent more in a month than came in. The market expected a surplus of £2.8bn, so when a £4.3bn overspend was announced, a sell off of sterling ensued. With income tax receipts down by 16% on the year before, there are serious questions being asked of the UK economy and the state of the country’s public finances. The UK needs a credible plan to reduce government borrowing and stimulate growth at the same time. Last years emergency funding has done very little to stimulate growth and now the next step seems to be tax hikes.

The lack of direction and lack of clear growth and recovery is likely to continue to push sterling lower – especially against the US dollar.

There is retail data out today for the UK, so get in touch to avoid the adverse impact of this negative sentiment on any payments you have to make. In the Euro zone, the euro also tracked close to a 9 month low against the US dollar, as news emerged that Greece was being investigated by European Union officials after allegations that the country concealed the true deficit figures using complex derivatives prior to joining the euro. Angela Merkel accused Greece of “falsifying its statistics for years”. A withdrawal from the euro has to be considered as a viable option as Germany has essentially refused point-blank to fund any bailout of the country. There was little data out yesterday and there is a similar lack of economic figures out today.

Expect the euro to trade on sentiment alone, which given yesterday’s performance could see it drop.

If you are moving euros into US dollars get in touch now, as with current market movements, it could continue to get much worse. In the USA, the US dollar strengthened against 12 of 16 major currencies. Price movement was driven by a very positive ‘earnings season’ for companies trading on the S & P 500. Of 350 companies that have released forth quarter earnings figures, more than 75% have exceeded analysts’ estimates leading to a boost in demand for US dollars as the economic recovery gathers pace in real terms. In addition, the Fed’s move to raise the discount rate of interest has sent out a clear signal that the Fed is looking to return to normal monetary policy. Data was fairly mixed yesterday though as unemployment data showed an unexpected jump in the number of new claimants – however this was overlooked by the market and attributed to seasonal workers from the festive period looking for employment again. US inflation data is released today which will be watched closely. Expect the US dollar to continue its rally against sterling and euro – get in touch now if you have US dollar payments in the short term, especially if you have US dollars to move into sterling.

Call 0808 163 0102 or +44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UKor fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted February 18th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.148
US$/GBP – 1.559
CHF/GBP – 1.683
CAN$/GBP – 1.631
AUS$/GBP – 1.740

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Sterling slid yesterday as closer inspection of the minutes from the Bank of England’s interest rate decision meeting revealed – despite a ‘unanimous decision’ – that for some members the arguments were ‘very finely balanced’. In addition, UK unemployment claims unexpectedly jumped by 23,500 in January which also weighed on sterling as unemployment hit a 13 year high. Whilst this can be attributed to temporary workers from the festive period once again looking for work, it paints a worrying picture. Overnight, sterling fell further against US dollar as Asian stock markets reacted to poor Australian company earnings announcements. Mortgage approval data is out today and is expected to show an improvement, but there are concerns over the consistency of the figures, as many lenders have increased market share in the last 18 months which could lead to inconsistencies in the figures. Call in today to avoid losing out.

In the Euro zone, the relative stability of the euro over the last few days might suggest that the panic over Greece has subsided. However, despite the EU’s assurances to step in, it is important not to get complacent as there is a serious issue here that can easily blow up again. No bailout would mean an extended recession for Greece and serious problems in the country, but a bailout would threaten European political stability. A key German minister spoke out against ‘a single German euro’ being used to help which added to the euro’s losses. Greece is still an issue and could cause volatility at any point – call today to secure the best rate.

In the US, the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate meeting were released yesterday which showed that they might take the first steps to raising interest rates in the coming months. This stance would make the US dollar a much more attractive venue for investment and adds weight to forecasts that sterling will move towards the low 1.50s – the pound has already fallen from a 2 week high of $1.58/ £1 to $1.565/ £1.

Get in touch now to avoid losing out further.Call 0808 163 0102 or +44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UKor fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted February 17th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.147
US$/GBP – 1.577
CHF/GBP – 1.685
CAN$/GBP – 1.644
AUS$/GBP – 1.749

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Yesterday saw CPI inflation data released for the UK. The figure showed the annual rate increase to 3.5% in January from 2.9% in December – the biggest monthly rise in inflation since November 2008 prompting Mervyn King to write an explanatory letter to the Chancellor. In this letter, the Governor outlined that he expects inflation to return towards the targeted 2.5% as spare capacity absorbs price pressures. This is fair, as a lot of inflationary pressure (especially on house prices) is caused by a lack of supply in the market – when this returns, prices should return to targeted inflation. Out today, we have the minutes from the last meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee. The minutes are expected to follow last week’s Inflation Report and Mervyn King’s letter yesterday – so the potential for large sterling movement is limited, as traders/ investors have already priced in an expectation of a drop in inflation later on in the year. Also out today is unemployment data which is expected to show a further drop in unemployment. This could see sterling strengthen if this is better than expected so give us a call if you need to make any payments.

In the Euro zone, the Greek crisis took a back seat yesterday and it is likely that it will stay under the radar today as the markets focus on the UK. German consumer confidence dropped yesterday, but not as much as was initially expected, and Euro zone consumer confidence also dropped in wake of the debt crisis. The euro is in the hands of other currencies today – get in touch now to make sure you get in at the best price.

The US dollar weakened across the board against the other major currencies as risk appetite returned to the market. Sterling in particular reached a two week high against the US dollar breaching the $1.58/ £1 barrier first thing this morning. Industrial production figures are expected to show a 0.6% rise from January. Call in today to ensure you take advantage of sterling’s relative strength against the US dollar.

Call 0808 163 0102 or +44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UKor fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted February 16th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.148
US$/GBP – 1.568
CHF/GBP – 1.683
CAN$/GBP – 1.641
AUS$/GBP – 1.753

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

In the spirit of Shrove Tuesday, sterling’s performance yesterday was as flat as a pancake against the euro. A lack of economic data, reduced trading volumes due to the US President’s Day holiday and the fact that many traders are holding off for data out later today meant that sterling moved very little aside from a modest 0.3% gain against the US dollar. The big news out today is the CPI inflation data for the UK, which is expected to show a rise to 3.5% from 2.9% in December. This will prompt a letter from Mervyn King to the Chancellor to explain. The Bank have stated a few times that they expect inflation to overshoot 3% in the short term before dropping off later in the year. The risk of volatility is high, as if inflation comes in worse or much higher than expected, sterling is likely to move. Get in touch to avoid losing out.

In the Euro zone, the German ZEW survey of consumer confidence is released at 10am – this is expected to show a considerable drop in sentiment reflecting concerns over Greece and sovereign debt and also the fact that growth unexpectedly stalled for the fourth quarter in the region. This could cause euro weakness – especially against the US dollar. Let us help you take advantage.

In the US, relatively little happened yesterday with the markets shut, but there is data out today in the form of the US Empire survey which will give a feel for business confidence for February. This is expected to show a small rise from last month. Similarly, a homebuilder confidence survey is expected to show a marginal improvement. Sterling is trading at the top end of recent ranges against US dollar – get in touch now if you have urgent payments.

Call 0808 163 0102 or +44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UKor fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

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